Monthly Archives: December 2013

New Print Management System Deploys 13 January 2014

In an effort to encourage and promote good printing practices, the Library will be deploying a new system called PaperCut to help us oversee printing next month. Systems like PaperCut are installed on nearly all other college and university campuses as a tool to help manage printing and encourage good printing practices. Here are some of the specifics that users who print to library printers will need to know as we move to the new system:

  • Public printers in the library will be attached to the new system and anyone printing to those printers will need to map the printers through the proper print server.
  • Users will be initially assigned individual print allowances of 300 pages per semester. When jobs are printed, the total number of pages printed are decremented from the total. In the case that a user meets or exceeds their total, they can request additional allowance be given.
  • There will be no charge to cadets for printing allowances, however printing in the library is a service provided to support academic work. Jobs printed in the library should be academic in nature.
  • Individual print jobs should be fifty pages or less and should be printed on letter size only. In the case that exceptions are required to these parameters, users may speak with a library staff person.
  • After submitting a print job to be printed, users will need to release the job using their CAC at the new workstation located next to our printers. This will help eliminate unclaimed print jobs. Jobs that are not claimed within one hour will be cleaned out of the queue automatically.

Our goal is to improve awareness of printing and help encourage thought about what needs to be printed and what does not. We are not seeking to make money or even seeking cost recovery in providing the service. We do want to expand awareness that printing is an expensive service to provide that has the capability of generating significant waste. In times of restricted resources, managing services like printing efficiently is a priority for the entire community.

Thomas Lynch Hired as Reference Librarian for USMA Library

Tom Lynch – Reference Librarian

It is highly probable that no one was more  surprised than Thomas Lynch to hear that he had been hired by the USMA Library to work as a reference librarian, given that he had interviewed and presented for an entirely different position within the Library.  On the other hand, those of us who had met with Tom on the day of his interview were not overly surprised by the news, as he appeared well-suited for the reference position.

Prior to coming to West Point, Tom worked as a technical information specialist for the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. and the National Ground Intelligence Center in Charlottesville, VA.  He has also worked as both librarian and technician for the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, as well as the Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia.

 Tom hails from the great state of Michigan, where as an undergraduate he studied German Language and Literature at Michigan State University. While serving in the United States Air Force he completed the Russian Basic Course at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey.  He then went on to the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, where he worked as an Airborne Cryptologic Linguist.  After leaving the Air Force Tom took advanced Russian language courses at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, graduate courses in Theatre History/Dramatic Literature/Theatre Arts at Michigan State, and Library & Information Science at Drexel University. 

Now that Tom is here, we can confirm that our first observations about him were correct: smart and funny, he is a welcome addition to the USMA Library team. Look for him at the Reference Desk, and when you do be sure to say welcome OR,
in Russian, добро пожаловать!

Some questions for Tom:

What motivated you to learn German and Russian? 

I had a great teacher for German in high school, and continued my studies at MSU. Eventually, I realized I was pretty good with languages, so stuck with it. My uncle tried to get me to go to the Air Force Academy, but when I was 15, I just couldn’t imagine it. Hehe! Then, to the surprise of EVERYONE in my life, I enlisted in the Air Force towards the end of college to go be a linguist. If you study foreign languages, then you know all about Monterey, CA and the Defense Language Institute. Like most things military, you make selections for which languages you’d be interested in learning, but the needs of the service decide what you will get. Hence, the Russian language experience.

Why did you become a librarian? What do you like best about the occupation? 

Like many folks I stumbled into the library and Information profession backwards.  After graduate studies, I started to look for work.  I realized the jobs that interested me, and to which I was applying, were all in libraries, archives, and museums.  I didn’t realize this, but with some stepping back a bit, and looking at it, I realized I love helping people, I like to be a smarty-pants know-it-all and love the challenge of finding information, and helping people find what they are looking for.  The best aspect of librarianship and working with information is that no two days of work are exactly alike, while at the same time, the underlying mechanisms for research, searching databases, the hunt for information are continuous throughout what we do to help the Cadets, faculty, and staff.

 You’ve lived abroad in a number of different places. Do you have a favorite?

I’m extremely fascinated by cultural identity and languages, and travel to see what other cultures are like.  Living in Germany and working at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies Research Library was a pretty amazing opportunity to both serve the mission of the U.S. to promote democracy and peace and stability, but also allowed me to observe the Germans at work and play daily, and a great opportunity to improve my language skills.  Living in Japan was pretty amazing, though, as well.

Any interesting experiences as a Linguist?

I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you. And I like you, so I wouldn’t want to have to do that.

What do you like to do when you are not at work?

I spend lots of time walking, some gym and exercise classes, but mostly love to read nonfiction books about human behavior, motivation, cultural identity, and some history. The deeper I’ve gotten into these areas, the more it comes back to the brain, the mind, mindfulness, and the reality of how much power we have over our own happiness and contentment. Ommmmmmmmm…………

 

 

 

SCS Circulating Collection Analysis

We recently received the results of an analysis of our circulating book collection from Sustainable Collection Services (SCS). The analysis was done in conjunction with ConnectNY’s Shared Print Archive project, which is intended to “further our collaboration through greater mutual reliance on our respective circulating print book collections, and in the process relieving pressure on both library shelf space and storage space.” (http://connectny.org/about/projects/shared-print-archive-project-oct-2012)

USMA, having undergone this on our own in preparation for the move to Jefferson Hall, is not an active participant in the project but have contributed our data in support.

The summary report of the analysis is available in Sharepoint at https://collab.westpoint.edu/library/processing/Reports%20and%20Statistics/SCS%20Circulating%20Collection%20Analysis

SCS also provides access to GreenGlass, an analytical tool containing our data. There are brief tutorials on the tool here: http://sustainablecollections.com/greenglass

If you would like to use the GreenGlass tool, let me know and I will arrange an account for you.

Week in Review – 13 December 2013

Print Management Deploying on 13 January

In an effort to encourage and promote good printing practices, the Library will be deploying a new system called PaperCut to help us oversee printing next month. Systems like PaperCut are installed on nearly all other college and university campuses as a tool to help manage printing and encourage good printing practices. We will be sharing more specific information in the coming weeks about how the system will work, however here are some of the broad strokes:

  • Public printers in the library will be attached to the new system and anyone printing to those printers will need to map the printers through the proper print server.
  • Users will have individual print allowances, and when jobs are printed, the pages printed are decremented from the total. Allowances will be set generously, and in the case that a user meets or exceeds their total, they can request additional allowance be given. There will no charge for allowances, and the expectation is that jobs are academic in nature.
  • Individual jobs will be held at the printer for release. This will help significantly reduce the number of unclaimed print jobs. Users will authenticate a release station next to the printer with the barcode on their CAC and then their job will print.

Our goal is to improve awareness of printing and help encourage thought about what needs to be printed and what does not. We are not seeking to make money or even seek cost recovery in providing the service. We do know however that there is a tremendous amount of waste when printing is completely unmanaged as it has been at USMA. We want to make a positive impact on how we as a community manage our printing resources.

Stay tuned for more information regarding the new system which will appear shortly after the beginning of the spring term.

Clearer Communication on Leadership/Accountability for Library Staff Coming Soon

As we continue reviewing and refining our emergency response planning, we would like to make some improvements in internal communication regarding who exactly is in charge, and who is or is not on duty. During the normal duty day, determining who is in charge is not a difficult thing, however half of our service hours fall during evenings and weekends and we have not always made specific designations regarding who is in charge on-site during those off-hours. Similarly, we have our shared outboard to track staff who are on leave or TDY, but we also want to make that data more accessible and visible.

To accomplish these ends, we will soon start issuing an email each weekday morning that specifies the leadership in charge for that day, which will include an evening/weekend librarian-in-charge. That individual will be the primary POC for all library operations during their shift. Other staff working the evening/weekend shift will also be listed. We will also include the names of staff who are on leave/TDY. This should help to provide a quick summary of information each day that could be useful in many different ways.

Keeping the outboard up-to-date is very important, and we will be tracking that regularly. Thank you to everyone for helping to keep it as accurate as possible. Comments as we begin to roll this out are welcome.

Week in Review on Holiday Hiatus

The next issue of the Week in Review will be published 10 January 2014.

USMA Library Events

The events below will likely affect USMA Library and Jefferson Hall operations in the coming week.

Date USMA O/DEAN USMA Library Jefferson Hall Hours
Fri 13 Dec 2013 Week in Review 0600-2100
Sat 14 Dec 2013 Go ARMY! Beat Navy! CLOSED
Sun 15 Dec 2013 1100-2100
Mon 16 Dec 2013  Holiday Party 0700-2315
Tue 17 Dec 2013 TEEs Division Heads 0700-2315
Wed 18 Dec 2013  TEEs Dean’s Staff 0700-2315
Thu 19 Dec 2013 TEEs 0700-2315
Fri 20 Dec 2013 TEEs / December Graduation Holiday Party 0700-2315

USMA Library Metrics

USMA Library tracks a number of key statistics to measure service levels. These are their stories …

11NOV-17NOV 18NOV-24NOV 25NOV-2DEC 3DEC-9DEC
Access Services
Items Charged Out 1,067 1,155 372 746
Gate Count n/a n/a n/a n/a
ILL Article Requests 18
ILL Book Requests 16
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 0 0
Significant Events Hosted 2 5 1 4
Events/Meetings Attended 8 27 8 23
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 69 72 23 40
Library Instruction Sessions 0 1 0 0
Cadets Attending Sessions 0 7 0 0
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 32 77 31 67
Items Added – Digital 128 311 0 2
Items Added – GovDocs 26 276 123 44
Items Added – Other 0 0 0 0
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 70 91 28 128
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 36 39 28 41
Research Visits < 1 hour 7 13 5 3
Research Visits < 1 day 0 0 0 4
Research Visits > 1 day 1 0 0 0
Instruction Sessions 1 2 0 0
Cadets Taught 12 21 0 0
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 6,747 7,339 2,229 4,604
LibGuides Visits 767 794 237 504
Digital Collections Visits 286 249 136 187
Facebook Visits 12 26 10 33
Public Printer Prints 10,031 13,232 3,228 10,493
Public Printer Copies 276 474 66 87
Public Printer Scans 87 22 33 1,619

Food for Thought

A few quotations from the past week about libraries, information, technology, and the future

  • “At least 7,776 languages are in use in the greater offline world … Less than five percent of languages in use now exist online.” How the Internet is killing the world’s languages
  • “The analysis shows that a high number of tweets does not correspond to a high number of citations in peer-reviewed journals – a method of measuring impact that is generally accepted by the scientific community. As a result, the number one article on the list of researchers, dealing with an altered gene during radiation exposure, was tweeted 963 times but only received nine academic citations. An article on a similar topic, in the wake of the Fukushima explosion, had 30 citations compared to its 639 tweets. “The most popular scientific articles on Twitter stress health implications or have a humourous or surprising component. This suggests that articles having the broadest scientific impact do not have the widest distribution,” Haustein said.” – Peer-review science is taking off on Twitter, but who is tweeting what and why?
  • “I think the truth is it’s really not going to get better under the old model,” said Rick Staisloff, a consultant who is the former vice president for finance and administration at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. Houghton President Shirley Mullen said the crisis in higher ed is now of a greater magnitude than any she has seen. “I don’t believe there is any going back” she said. “I just don’t think that’s the case. I think whatever happens going forward is something different than we’ve seen before – I don’t think we know exactly what that’s going to look like.” – Private colleges remain under the weather | Inside Higher Ed
  • “I readily acknowledge that the traditional liberal arts education is not for everyone, and that not all young people want to or will attend college immediately after high school. But we need to ensure that every young person has the academic, social, and financial tools to get to college eventually. Otherwise, we run the risk of sorting students onto a vocational training path of potentially limited options based in subtle and not-so-subtle ways on where they live, where they were born, and how much money their parents make.” – Americans who say “college isn’t for everyone” never mean their own kids – Quartz
  • “I’m convinced that creative breakthroughs and innovative solutions require creative listening. Unfortunately, it’s an all-too-rare skill in many organizations. In fact, just the opposite happens. When someone shares a “crazy idea,” the instinct is to cite all the reasons why it wouldn’t work—shutting it down with a “No, but” response.” – Why Better Listeners are Better Innovators | Design Thinking
  • “A federal judge in New York threw out claims by independent bookstores that Amazon and the big publishing houses conspired to create a monopoly by using technical measures to ensure that ebooks bought on Amazon could only be read on Kindle devices and apps. In a ruling published on Monday, US District Judge Jed Rakoff rejected the notion that Amazon’s “device specific DRM” (digital rights management) provided any benefit to the publishers and described the bookstores’ claim as “threadbare.” – Indie bookstores lose case over DRM on Amazon Kindle — Tech News and Analysis
  • “We all know what distorting incentives have done to finance and banking. The incentives my colleagues face are not huge bonuses, but the professional rewards that accompany publication in prestigious journals – chiefly Nature, Cell and Science. These luxury journals are supposed to be the epitome of quality, publishing only the best research. Because funding and appointment panels often use place of publication as a proxy for quality of science, appearing in these titles often leads to grants and professorships. But the big journals’ reputations are only partly warranted. While they publish many outstanding papers, they do not publish only outstanding papers. Neither are they the only publishers of outstanding research.” – How journals like Nature, Cell and Science are damaging science | Randy Schekman | Comment is free | The Guardian
  • “And so, no matter how appealing the idea of open access is, and how consonant with the core values of academic life, it may run into obstacles other than the one usually cited, which is greed. Those who want to make money from academic publications may be less of a problem, in the long run, than academics who can’t resist the temptation to offload some of what they think of as—and what may often be fairly described as—the drudgeries of teaching. Few of us are as committed to open access as Aaron Swartz was: We may say we don’t like the power that has fallen into the hands of the big aggregators and distributors, but our behavior, when faced with the genuine services those companies provide, indicates something different. Are we willing to change that behavior, to take on greater responsibility for instructing our students in the quest for reliable sources and genuine knowledge?” – JSTOR’s Hidden Power – Alan Jacobs – The Atlantic
  • “In the old days, it used to be your milkman coming to your house every week,” Agarwal says. “I think in five years I could imagine…some significant fraction of the population having an Amazon truck coming to their house every week.” This reality, he believes, is “way closer than drones.” – Amazon’s Drones Are Useless. But Its Trucks Could Crush UPS | Wired Business | Wired.com
  • “People are going to keep reading books, but the question is what form will win out. The answer is probably all of them.” – Duke Academic Press on the future of the book. Also see how writers and designers envision it.
  • “Results not only need to be novel and exciting, they must also be correct. Students learn in elementary school that the scientific method involves investigating hypotheses. And hypotheses don’t always turn out to be right. Literature analysis by Nature, however, found a pervasive tendency for journals to only publish “positive” studies. Papers that bear out the tested hypotheses represented 90% of all articles. Failure has a place in science, but not in science journals.” – Fraud in the Ivory Tower

Excerpted from Infoneer Pulse, a digital commonplace book curated by Christopher Barth.

From the Hudson River to Hollywood: West Point on Film, Part II

Maureen O’Hara and Donald Crisp pose in costume at West Point while filming The Long Gray Line in spring 1954. Image provided by the Signal Corps Collection of the USMA Archives.

By Michael G. Arden

Audiovisual/Reference Librarian

The 1950s was the golden decade of West Point as captured on film, including three popular movies from the first part of the decade, plus a definitive television series from the second half, featuring a number of unknown actors who would soon emerge as major movie and television stars.  Perhaps the most essential West Point film of all is The Long Gray Line, directed by Hollywood great John Ford, treating the life of Academy legend, Marty Maher.

After the 1950s, two filmed stories of real life cadets and the dramatic events surrounding them were released in the 1970s and 1990s respectively.  Finally, a classic musical from the 1960s is included in the list because it was partly filmed at West Point despite never being identified as such.

As with the previous list, if the Library owns the movie, a link is provided within the text to the catalog.  Films not currently available are linked to their records in the Internet Movie Database (IMDb).

The West Point Story (1950) James Cagney, Doris Day (DVD/VHS)

Anyone who saw James Cagney’s spirited performance as showman George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy knows that the Warner Brothers’ tough guy was also the quintessential song and dance man.  In fact, he was frustrated that he didn’t get more chances to strut his stuff due to his often being typecast as a mobster.  Luckily for The West Point Story he gets to put on his dancing shoes to electrifying effect.  Once again the “100th Night” production is featured in the plot, as a down-on-his-luck Broadway director, Elwin “Bix” Bixby, reluctantly comes to West Point with his on-again, off-again girlfriend, Eve, his level-headed personal assistant.  Under pressure from a Broadway producer, Bix is sent up the Hudson River to stage the cadets’ annual musical.  His real assignment is to lure the male lead to Broadway, and Bix uses his beautiful movie star friend, Jan, as bait to try to get him to resign from the Army.  A decorated Army veteran, Bix is still a wise-cracking rebel disdainful of what he regards as military officiousness.  After he blows up at a cadet late to a rehearsal due to more pressing duties, Bix is forced to live as a plebe, creating some humorous scenes. Talented musical actors including Gordon MacRae, Gene Nelson, Virginia Mayo and newcomer Doris Day give spirited performances, overcoming a sometimes corny script.  One musical number makes outstanding use of Flirtation Walk, and the many views of West Point as it was at mid-century make this extra fun to watch.  Look for Alan Hale Jr., later the skipper on Gilligan’s Island, in an amusing role as an overweight cadet cast in the all-male show as a princess.

Francis Goes to West Point (1952) Donald O’Connor, Barbara Atwood (VHS)

This is the third film in the Francis the Talking Mule series, in which an Army mule lends crusty but capable assistance to his naïve soldier companion, Peter Stirling, played by Donald O’Connor.  Good-natured Stirling is incapable of telling anyone anything but the truth, openly crediting Francis with stopping a saboteur, for example, thus causing everyone to regard the soldier as a lunatic.  In this film Francis coaches Stirling through cadet basic training at West Point, where the chronic bumbler faces intimidating drills, fearsome hazing and a forbidden romance to boot.  Francis manages to bail out both Stirling and the Army football team when the chips are down.  O’Connor was known for his singing and dancing in addition to his comedic talents, although he doesn’t perform any musical numbers here. Considered by some to be a weaker entry in the series, marketed squarely as wholesome family entertainment, much of the footage was shot at West Point.  Francis is voiced by Chill Wills, best remembered for his wizened Western roles.  And watch for a small uncredited speaking role by Leonard Nimoy as a football player.

The Long Gray Line (1955) Tyrone Power, Maureen O’Hara (DVD/VHS)

This is the West Point movie to take to a desert island with you.  Legendary director John Ford, who coached John Wayne to cinematic greatness from his “B” Western beginnings, sets the personal story of legendary Irish athletic instructor, Marty Maher, “in the big, warm frame of a West Point that looks beautiful in CinemaScope and color and has the excitement of parading cadets and thumping bands,” to quote noted New York Times film critic, Bosley Crowther.  Tyrone Power stars as the scrappy Irish immigrant whose fifty-year career took him from dishwasher to NCO and athletic instructor as well as mentor to the likes of Cadets Douglas MacArthur, Dwight Eisenhower, and Omar Bradley, among many others in the Long Gray Line over his remarkable career.  Maureen O’Hara, one of Ford’s favorite leading ladies, skillfully inhabits the role of fellow Irish immigrant, serving girl Mary O’Donnell, who becomes Maher’s betrothed. All the professionalism and skill of Ford and his stock company come out in the top-notch production, filmed at West Point.  Famed character actors Donald Crisp and Ward Bond bring to life Marty’s father, Old Martin, and Master of the Sword, Capt. Herman J. Koehler, respectively, and Harry Carey, Jr. portrays Dwight Eisenhower as a cadet. As a testimony to the fully successful collaboration between the filmmakers, the Army and West Point, the entire Corps of Cadets – all 1,900 of them – were bused down to Manhattan in 56 buses provided by Columbia Pictures.  They marched from Central Park West to the Capital Theater on Broadway, where Marty Maher stood, as they passed in review to honor him.  Don’t miss this one!

West Point: The Complete Series (1956-58) Chuck Connors, Leonard Nimoy (DVD)

West Point likely had a higher profile in American popular culture during the 1950s than in any other decade before or since.  The whole nation seemingly was in patriotic lockstep in those early Cold War years when America’s president, Dwight Eisenhower, after all, was a West Point graduate himself.  Ziv Productions, which was noted for several well-produced anthology series, spared no effort in presenting West Point and its cadets with almost complete veracity.  From the get-go the series was a total collaborative effort with the Department of Defense and the U.S. Military Academy.  Before production started, TV editors in 15 cities around the nation interviewed cadets by telephone, and multiple liaisons were assigned by Ziv and West Point to work together to create realistic scripts based on actual events that transpired at the Academy.  All the effort paid off, because except for some very minor details, the half-hour shows provided the public a realistic portal into the lives of West Point cadets.  The first nine shows were scripted by the greatly talented Gene Roddenberry, later the creator of the original Star Trek series.  Among the young actors who lent their talents to the series, and who would later become famous movie or television stars were Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood, Barbara Eden, Chuck Connors, Richard Jaeckel, Larry Hagman (uncredited), Martin Milner, Leonard Nimoy, and Robert Vaughn.  The series has been consistently praised for its writing, acting, lighting, camera work, and exciting episodes featuring great location shots of West Point.  The Corps of Cadets, the Army Band, and other post agencies lent manpower to act in, provide effects for, and control traffic during the filming on post.  Actors in costume were sometimes mistaken for real cadets, and upbraided for any infractions of rules.  The first season aired during 1956-1957 on CBS, presented by General Foods, and the second season aired during 1957-1958 on ABC, whose sponsors were Van Heusen Shirts and Carters Products.  Some of the biggest fans were West Point alumni, and President Eisenhower was reportedly “miffed” when the show was eventually cancelled. During the broadcast of West Point there were four other military dramas being aired, including Harbor Command, Navy Log, The Silent Service, and Men of Annapolis.  The series was under wraps for years due to copyright issues, only available on home-recorded VHS tapes. Now, thanks to Timeless Media, all 40 episodes are now available in a four-disc DVD box set released early in 2013.

Hello Dolly (1969) Barbra Streisand, Walter Matthau (DVD)

No expense was spared in filming this musical extravaganza, and much of it was shot around the Hudson Valley, including scenes in Garrison (substituting for Yonkers at the turn of the 20th century), the Poughkeepsie train station (New York City back in the day) and West Point.  The wedding scene was shot at Trophy Point, where a chapel façade was constructed and taken down after the filming.  Two librarians presently on staff at Jefferson Hall recall meeting cast members when they were filming on post and across the river in Garrison.

The Silence (1975) Richard Thomas

This made-for-TV movie features Richard Thomas, best remembered as John-Boy Walton on the 1970s TV series, The Waltons, in this dramatization of an actual event in which a cadet is charged with cheating on an exam.  The cadet, James Pelosi, is then subjected to “The Silence,” a policy in which fellow cadets refuse to talk to him or acknowledge his existence, based on the Honor instruction of the time.  He’s not allowed to have a roommate, he is forced to eat at a separate table in the mess hall, and only addressed officially when necessary, and then as “Mister.”  The movie doesn’t try to judge Cadet Pelosi’s guilt or innocence, but focuses instead on how he stood up to the psychological torment of his situation, based on his version of events, after he refused to resign from the academy.  Pelosi stuck it out for 19 months and graduated.  The scriptwriter, Stanley R. Greenberg, based the story on interviews he conducted with Pelosi.  The movie first aired on NBC in 1975, but has unfortunately never been released on video.  James Pelosi happens to be the brother-in-law of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi of California.

Assault at West Point: The Court-Martial of Johnson Whittaker (1994) Samuel L. Jackson, Sam Waterston (VHS)

Johnson Whittaker was an early African-American cadet who in 1880 was left brutally beaten and tied to his bed with burnt pages from his bible strewn around his room, where he was found unconscious and bleeding from razor slashes to his face and hands.  Although he claimed that he was assaulted by three racist white cadets, the Academy moved to expel him, convinced that his injuries were self-inflicted.  The authorities charged that the defendant’s motive was to get out of taking a philosophy exam which he was afraid of failing. This shameful incident is the basis for the 1994 Showtime made-for-TV movie, which at its heart is a courtroom drama.  When the high profile case is brought to trial, tension builds between the two defense attorneys, one a Harvard-educated African-American, Richard Greener (Samuel L. Jackson), and the other an ex-abolitionist, Daniel Chamberlain (Sam Waterston) who believes in emancipation but not equality between the races.  The prosecution is led by the openly racist Major Asa Bird Gardiner (John Glover), who fails to faze the defendant with his aggressive, intimidating tactics.  Nevertheless, when the more sympathetic judge is a no-show on the day of the verdict, the other two judges declare the defendant guilty as charged.  The story ends with old Johnson Whittaker being interviewed by a reporter.  He tells him that his expulsion was overturned by President Chester Arthur, yet the Academy refused to reinstate him on the grounds that he had failed his exam.  He rebounded to have a rewarding career as a school principal.  Johnson also sums up how he regarded his two defense attorneys; he’s respectful of Greener and dismissive of Chamberlain, who Whittaker said was more interested in promoting himself than delivering justice for his client.  This movie spurred renewed interest in Whittaker’s case, leading to his full exoneration by President Bill Clinton the following year.  With no coordination with the Army or West Point, the production was filmed in Virginia where the Academy of 1880 was recreated using movie sets.  The high-powered actors give it their best, although some viewers have been put off by their formal and somewhat stilted diction, which was purposely written and executed that way to mimic public discourse in the post-Civil War era.

There you have it – a legacy of grit and glory, filmed over the last 70 years of the 20th century.  West Point on film is a time capsule of both the Academy’s past and the era when stories were filmed with predictable Hollywood ruffles and flourishes.  The best of them succeed in capturing the unique panache of the West Point spirit.  Undoubtedly, the 21st century will leave its own unique contribution to this legacy.  In the meantime, put some popcorn in the microwave, light a fire in the fireplace, don a souvenir tar bucket (cadet dress parade hat), and enjoy one of Hollywood’s visions of West Point, once upon a time.

Library Adjusts Hours for Exams and Winter Leave

Hours of service for the USMA Library and Jefferson Hall will be adjusted to support term end exams and winter leave. Notable changes or exceptions are listed below. A full list of all operating hours is available on our website.

Notable changes include:

  • Fri 13 DEC – We open early at 0600 to support the modified class day.
  • Sat 14 DEC – We are closed for Army/Navy.
  • Sun-Thur 15-19 DEC – Regular Hours
  • Fri 20 DEC – We are open late to 2315 in support of TEEs.
  • Sat 21 DEC – We have modified hours 0700-1500.

Between Sunday 22 DEC and Saturday 4 JAN, we will operate Winter Leave hours:

  • CLOSED – Sundays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays
  • Open 0700-1630 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

We will open for spring term hours on Sunday 5 JAN at 1300.

Regular  Special Collections Reading Room hours will be suspended from 17 December through 3 January.  USMA patrons may contact Suzanne Christoff at x3259 regarding accommodation.

Library Discontinuing RefWorks Due to Technical Issues

As previously announced on 22 November, due to technical issues that impair reliable and full use of RefWorks on the USMA network, USMA Library will not be renewing our contract to provide this service as an online bibliographic and citation management tool. This change will be effective 1 January 2014. Based on service usage data, we anticipate this will only impact a small subset of users. We are continuing to review alternative products to provide this service and USMA Library maintains a guide on citation management that contains information about different citation formats and tools. Specific tools that can replace RefWorks include EasyBib and Zotero. Users who wish to continue to use the RefWorks service can continue their account as a personal subscription, or export their data for use in other products. Please contact your library liaison for additional questions regarding citation management tools and services.

Week in Review – 6 December 2013

Jefferson Hall Security and Access Updates

We are continuing to review and assess our security and access policies and procedures along with most others at West Point. Below are some notable updates that all staff and visitors to Jefferson Hall should be aware of regarding access:

  • Jefferson Hall remains accessible only to cadets, faculty and staff. All others must be escorted by a properly-credentialed individual. USMA will have a visitor badge system soon that will allow authorized visitors to move through Central Area unescorted. More information will be forthcoming about that badge and authorization process.
  • All civilians are required to keep their CAC displayed when moving around the facility and Central Area. We should also be challenging any unbadged individuals within Central Area, and especially anyone without credentials inside of Jefferson Hall. All individuals inside the library must be in uniform, or have proper credentials displayed.
  • The west entrance is now open for regular use. Now that a guard is posted at the north end of Thayer Road, access has been restored.
  • The east entrance remains closed as an emergency exit only. Employees should only use this entrance as a last resort and should remember to resecure the entrance if it is used.
  • The CAC access system in Jefferson Hall has been activated and soon we will modify our access procedures for after-hour employee access. All individuals assigned to Jefferson Hall will access Jefferson Hall with their CAC, and will no longer use physical keys. More information about this will be forthcoming shortly.
  • Planning continues to relocate the Circulation service point to the main floor for better overall facility and collection security.

USMA Library Events

The events below will likely affect USMA Library and Jefferson Hall operations in the coming week.

Date USMA O/DEAN USMA Library Jefferson Hall Hours
Fri 6 Dec 2013 Week in Review 0700-2100
Sat 7 Dec 2013 0900-2100
Sun 8 Dec 2013 Opera Forum 1300-2100
Mon 9 Dec 2013 Army/Navy Week Begins 0700-2315
Tue 10 Dec 2013 Division Heads 0700-2315
Wed 11 Dec 2013 Dean’s Staff  Liaisons 0700-2315
Thu 12 Dec 2013 Army/Navy Bonfire 0700-2315
Fri 13 Dec 2013  Modified Class Day / Last Day of Classes  Library Committee 0600-2100

USMA Library Metrics

USMA Library tracks a number of key statistics to measure service levels. These are their stories …

4NOV-10NOV 11NOV-17NOV 18NOV-24NOV 25NOV-2DEC
Access Services
Items Charged Out 1,067 1,155 372
Gate Count n/a 5,237 6,664 2,628
ILL Article Requests 20 18
ILL Book Requests 24 16
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 0 0
Significant Events Hosted 2 2 5 1
Events/Meetings Attended 23 8 27 8
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 77 69 72 23
Library Instruction Sessions 2 0 1 0
Cadets Attending Sessions 4 0 7 0
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 33 32 77 31
Items Added – Digital 128 128 311 0
Items Added – GovDocs 26 26 276 123
Items Added – Other 0 0 0 0
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 70 70 91 28
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 37 36 39 28
Research Visits < 1 hour 11 7 13 5
Research Visits < 1 day 1 0 0 0
Research Visits > 1 day 0 1 0 0
Instruction Sessions 1 1 2 0
Cadets Taught 5 12 21 0
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 4,937 6,747 7,339 2,229
LibGuides Visits 675 767 794 237
Digital Collections Visits 231 286 249 136
Facebook Visits 25 12 26 10
Public Printer Prints 6,907 10,031 13,232 3,228
Public Printer Copies 299 276 474 66
Public Printer Scans 180 87 22 33

Food for Thought

A few quotations from the past week about libraries, information, technology, and the future

  • “The federal government made enough money on student loans over the last year that, if it wanted, it could provide maximum-level Pell Grants of $5,645 to 7.3 million college students. The $41.3-billion profit for the 2013 fiscal year is down $3.6 billion from the previous year but still enough to pay for one year of tuition at the University of Michigan for 2,955,426 Michigan residents. It’s a higher profit level than all but two companies in the world: Exxon Mobil cleared $44.9 billion in 2012, and Apple cleared $41.7 billion.” – Detroit Free Press, Federal government books $41.3 billion in profits on student loans.
  • “The British marketing research agency Voxburner recently surveyed more than 1,400 people, ages 16 to 24, about their media-consumption habits. The survey found that 62% of the respondents said they prefer printed books to e-books.” – Young people prefer printed books to e-books, survey finds – latimes.com
  • “Google’s “deep learning” clusters of computers churn through massives chunks of data looking for patterns—and it seems they’ve gotten good at it. So good, in fact, that Google announced at the Machine Learning Conference in San Francisco that its deep learning clusters have learned to recognize objects on their own.” – How Google’s “Deep Learning” Is Outsmarting Its Human Employees ⚙ Co.Labs ⚙ code community
  • “Facing pressure to combat drug use and sexual assault at the Air Force Academy, the Air Force has created a secret system of cadet informants to hunt for misconduct among students. Cadets who attend the publicly-funded academy near Colorado Springs must pledge never to lie. But the program pushes some to do just that: Informants are told to deceive classmates, professors and commanders while snapping photos, wearing recording devices and filing secret reports. For one former academy student, becoming a covert government operative meant not only betraying the values he vowed to uphold, it meant being thrown out of the academy as punishment for doing the things the Air Force secretly told him to do.” – Secretive Air Force program recruits academy cadets to inform on colleagues and disavows them – U.S. – Stripes
  • “So what you have is an increasing number of brilliant PhD graduates arriving every year into the market hoping to secure a permanent position as a professor and enjoying freedom and high salaries, a bit like the rank-and-file drug dealer hoping to become a drug lord. To achieve that, they are ready to forgo the income and security that they could have in other areas of employment by accepting insecure working conditions in the hope of securing jobs that are not expanding at the same rate. Because of the increasing inflow of potential outsiders ready to accept this kind of working conditions, this allows insiders to outsource a number of their tasks onto them, especially teaching, in a context where there are increasing pressures for research and publishing. The result is that the core is shrinking, the periphery is expanding, and the core is increasingly dependent on the periphery. In many countries, universities rely to an increasing extent on an “industrial reserve army” of academics working on casual contracts because of this system of incentives.” – How Academia Resembles a Drug Gang | Alexandre Afonso
  • “Some functions of physical books that seem to have no digital place are nevertheless being retained. An author’s autograph on a cherished title looked as if it would become a relic. But Apple just applied for a patent to embed autographs in electronic titles. Publishers still commission covers for e-books even though their function — to catch the roving eye in a crowded store — no longer exists. What makes all this activity particularly striking is what is not happening. Some features may be getting a second life online, but efforts to reimagine the core experience of the book have stumbled. Dozens of publishing start-ups tried harnessing social reading apps or multimedia, but few caught on.” – Out of Print, Maybe, but Not Out of Mind – NYTimes.com
  • “Publishers have long bemoaned Africa’s lack of a “book culture” but some hope that the advent of smartphones and the internet could help change this, writes journalist Chris Matthews. The 566% increase in worldwide internet usage since the start of the millennium might appear staggering but not when compared with Africa, where online activity has grown by an astonishing 3,606%. Continue reading the main story “ Start Quote For us in Africa ‘bookless’ societies are indeed pre-book societies” Henry Chakava in 1997 More than 160 million people are now connected throughout the continent, mostly on mobile phones. With internet access surging and connectivity increasing, the doors are being thrown open to digital publishing.” – BBC News – Will e-publishing help Africa discover the joy of reading?
  • “The United States’ standings haven’t improved dramatically because we as a nation haven’t addressed the main cause of our mediocre PISA performance — the effects of poverty on students,” Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union, said in a statement.” – American 15-Year-Olds Lag, Mainly in Math, on International Standardized Tests – NYTimes.com
  • “The National Library of Norway is planning to digitize all the books by the mid 2020s. Yes. All. The. Books. In Norwegian, at least. Hundreds of thousands of them. Every book in the library’s holdings. By law, “all published content, in all media, [must] be deposited with the National Library of Norway,” so when the library is finished scanning, the entire record of a people’s language and literature will be machine-readable and sitting in whatever we call the cloud in 15 years. – Norway Just Decided to Digitize All the Norwegian Books
  • “The nature of work itself is changing for knowledge workers. During this decade, location will cease to be a barrier; many types of work will done as micro-tasks; and we will be collaborating in new ways. Not only will our employers take our offices away, but they will also expect us to be at their beck and call—and live balanced and healthy lives according to corporate standards. I know this isn’t all great, but that is the future we are headed into—whether we like it or not.” – The Scary And Amazing Future Of Work | XPRIZE
  • “The median grade in Harvard College is indeed an A-. The most frequently awarded grade in Harvard College is actually a straight A.” – Substantiating Fears of Grade Inflation, Dean Says Median Grade at Harvard College Is A-, Most Common Grade Is A | News | The Harvard Crimson
  • “During the period the study covers, 10,919 silent feature films of U.S. origin were released and only 14% of those still exist in their original 35mm format. Of those, 5% are incomplete and 11% are only available in foreign versions or lower-quality formats. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington called the state of America’s silent film heritage an “alarming and irretrievable loss to our nation’s cultural record.” – Survey Finds 70% Of American Silent Movies Have Been Lost To Time Or Neglect – Deadline.com
  • “The average debt that borrowers of student loans had at graduation continued to rise last year, climbing to $29,400 for the class of 2012, according to a new report released Wednesday by the Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS). This year’s figure, based on TICAS calculations of federal data collected every four years, is up by more than 25 percent compared with the group’s $24,450 estimate for the class of 2008.” – Average student debt for borrowers in 2012 climbed over $29,000 | Inside Higher Ed

Excerpted from Infoneer Pulse, a digital commonplace book curated by Christopher Barth.

West Door to Jefferson Open for Entrance/Exit

Effective today, the west door to Jefferson Hall will be open normal facility hours for anyone to enter or exit the building. This is possible because of the guard now stationed at the north end of Thayer Road. All opening and closing library staff should unsecure and secure this door at the same time we do the main south door.

The east door to Jefferson Hall remains emergency use only. Because this door faces the public street and is not as easy for the guard to watch, we will keep a restricted use on the east door.